​​​Precision Medicine for the Underserved
Announcing a challenge on “Advancing Health Equity through Precision Medicine Tools” 

The President’s Precision Medicine Initiative seeks to revolutionize how we improve health and treat disease by taking into account individual differences in people’s genes, environments, and lifestyles.  Both accomplishing the specific goals of the Precision Medicine Initiative and ensuring health equity more broadly will require deliberate strategies and efforts to ensure that all Americans, including those in underserved communities and those who are medically underserved, can access and reap the benefits of precision medicine.

Digital health tools hold great promise in gathering data to speed cures for disease, in informing population and community health and in delivering the actionable information that people and their caregivers need to manage their health and lives. 

Key shortcomings have limited the usefulness of such tools for use by either researchers or individuals.  For example, a lack of tailoring for users of digital health tools has resulted in reduced adoption, especially over the extended periods necessary for integration into peoples’ lifestyles and contribution to research.  In addition, lack of a framework for various digital health tools to work together to contribute toward integrated information has limited the use and usefulness of digital health tools in both peoples’ lives and in research. 

Challenge Overview
With seed support by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s generous gift to the Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners Healthcare’s Medical Device Plug and Play Program (MD PnP), the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved (NHIT Collaborative), Howard University College of Medicine, The National Human Genome Center at Howard University, TracFone, and HIMSS are launching a challenge to advance health equity through precision medicine tools.

The Challenge will fund up to three prizes to teams that propose digital health tools that:

  1. address the Precision Medicine needs underserved and medically underserved people and communities, and

  2. facilitate participation of people from underserved and medically underserved groups and communities in the Precision Medicine cohort

  3. promote the use of open health platforms as a way of expanding the breadth, depth and interoperability of digital health tools and associated data to support the Precision Medicine Initiative

In addition to cash prizes and recognition, the Challenge will provide ongoing mentorship for the selected teams in their journey from envisioning to deployment and potential commercialization or research use of their Precision Medicine Tools.

Precision Medicine Initiative

Challenge for the Underserved